Thursday, December 29, 2016

Phenological data repeatedly refutes fake climate data claims



Nature is all around us. Nature does not take sides. Nature does not "fake" anything. No, nature does what nature has to do when influenced by processes in the Earth system. When those processes change, nature will change in response. It must. It has no choice.

Take, for example, the ice that covers many lakes in the respective hemispheric winters. Now, actually, there aren't a lot of ice-covered lakes in the Southern Hemisphere winter, because there's a lot more ocean and a lot less land in the south. So this is primarily a northern hemisphere effect. Now, when the temperature of the air gets warmer than the freezing point of ice, the ice will melt. Has to. Simple physics. It has no choice.

So, we do know, climate is changing. Winters are warmer and shorter. That means the ice on the lakes are generally thinner, and the thawing temperatures of spring happen earlier. So the ice on the lakes thaws earlier in the spring over decades. Simple observations taken every year of ice-covered lakes show when this happens. If the temperature of the Earth was not changing, if the winters were about the same length, there would be no trend. But there is, toward earlier thaws, because the Earth's climate is changing. And anyone who tells you the data is faked, that the trend is artificial, cannot explain this simple observation of nature.

Now there's a new one. Migratory birds are changing when they arrive (when their migration ends) in response to global warming.  They're arriving earlier. The birds don't care about the debate. They are driven by an urge to eat, to reproduce, to nest -- and they instinctively time their migrations to optimize the search for food and their reproductive success. They aren't involved in debates about the correctness of science or the number of scientists who "think" global warming is happening. They just do what they must in response to a warming climate -- to survive and hopefully to thrive.

So, if anyone tells you global warming data is "faked", tell them you've looked at nature, and nature says they are wrong, lying, or so ideologically committed and twisted that they can't admit the truth of what nature is telling us.

Here is the link to the actual published research paper.

Temporal shifts and temperature sensitivity of avian spring migratory phenology: a phylogenetic meta-analysis

That's something that people who claim climate change data is faked can hardly ever produce;  published science to support their bogus claims.  That's because their claims are bogus -- as nature repeatedly tells us.



Crazy wrong things that Republicans believe (much more than Democrats)



Catherine Rampell has a superb opinion piece in the Washington Post. Read the whole thing if you can. Below I'm providing two graphs from the piece and the accompanying explanatory text.

Americans - especially, but not exclusively, Trump voters - believe crazy, wrong things

"About half of Trump voters also believe that President Obama was born in Kenya, even though their once-birther candidate has since disavowed this conspiracy theory:"













"Trump voters are unlikely to buy the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia hacked Democratic emails in order to help elect Trump, a view widely held by Clinton voters:"














So -- what's it all mean?  Well, it's already been shown that Republicans fall for fake news stories more than Democrats, Republicans believe in conspiracies more than Democrats, and Republicans band together more than Democrats on issues where ideology is more important than facts (like climate change, repealing Obamacare, and cutting taxes to stimulate economic growth, i.e., "trickle down" economics).  So it's no surprise that Republicans are playing follow-the-leader on the question of the Russians hacking into and influencing the election in favor of Trump.   And it's no surprise that having to believe that Obama was in illegitimate President, half of them still believe he wasn't born in the United States.

So, as we go forward, Republicans will believe what the President says, even if that isn't remotely supported by facts.  And that's not good for the country.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Who has the better set?



Who's got the better set of abs? Iza or her Paris-Saint-Germain goalkeeper boyfriend, Kevin Trapp? Even though Trapp's abs are a definite physically sculpted work, I side with Iza, because due to the layer of subcutaneous fat possessed by women, it's harder to make those abs show. Of course, as a supermodel, that's her job, and she's also got a body fat index way, way below that of normal healthy women. And that's why I think her abs even exceed those of her hunky, damn-he's-lucky boyfriend.























She's a beach bum! VS Angel Izabel Goulart flaunts derriere as she packs on the PDA during St Barts getaway

And dang, if I may so, her butt is quite fine, too.



More Kate, in Shape, on video


Well, since I posted about Kate Beckinsale on the cover of Shape, I am obligated to post about the Daily Mail article about Kate on the cover of Shape, which includes a brief behind-the-scenes video of Kate in her briefs. Unfortunately, this clip does not include her behind.

I'm sure Ms. Beckinsale would appreciate my wordplay.

Kate Beckinsale shares video of Shape magazine cover shoot

I hope there will be more.  I'll be waiting.


Meet the next batch


This article has the next batch of contestants on The Bachelor.

Meet the Bachelor contestants

Well, handicapping The Bachelor contestants can be fun (depending on what you like to do with your life), so here, judging by only the pictures shown at the Web site, is my own preliminary First Impression Top 5. Now, the next step is to watch the ladies get out of the limos in fine evening wear, which provides an opportunity to judge both slinkiness, interaction with the Bachelor, and such details as accent and flirtatiousness.

I'll get back to you on that next week.

First impression Top 5

Liz
Corrine
Whitney
Danielle
Angela


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I've been waiting for this


I got the word that Kate Beckinsale was going to be on the cover of the January/February issue of Shape magazine, mainly to promote the next movie in the Underworld series, but also because Shape likes to put fit celebrity women on the cover.

And Kate certainly is that.

I think this might also garner her a few votes for the Best Actress Oscar, for her performance in Love and Friendship.  She didn't show nearly as much skin in that movie as she does on the cover and inside Shape, but she was still sexy.  And also very talkative.

I wondered as I wrote this how many blog posts I've made about Kate Beckinsale, so I went back and counted.  16 so far (this will be the 17th).   Can you tell I'm impressed?







Bumper sticker suggestion


If someone would print this with the sticky stuff on the back, I'd put it on my car.  There is that copyright aspect to worry about, but maybe it could be adapted sufficiently so that wouldn't be a problem.



What do you think?


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Allardyce in, Pardew out: will it make a difference?


Pretty much inevitably, Alan Pardew's once-much-vaunted run as coach of beleaguered Crystal Palace has ended.   In his place, Palace has hired Sam Allardyce, who has respectable credentials with several teams.  He made an apparent error in judgment (but really didn't do anything wrong, if you read the end of the Wikipedia article) after being named the England national coach, leading to his resignation from there.  Can he turn Palace around?   We shall see.

Alan Pardew sacked as Crystal Palace manager

Sam Allardyce on the brink of replacing Sam Allardyce at Crystal Palace

Sam Allardyce closes in on Crystal Palace manager's job

The first thing he has to do is teach the defense not to give up goals late in games, like this one:





We agree: NY Times opinion by Lamar Alexander & Sheldon Whitehouse


Obviously I'm in agreement with this New York Times opinion piece authored by Senators Lamar Alexander and Sheldon Whitehouse.

To slow global warming, we need nuclear power

Some large excerpts below.  Underlining by me for emphasis.

"We come from different political parties, but we agree on the overall goal of leveling the playing field for nuclear power, and the need to find a bipartisan solution to achieve it. This matters because the investments we make today, in new plants and transmission infrastructure, will be around for decades. Every time new fossil energy replaces nuclear, we’re locking ourselves in to a more carbon-heavy energy mix for years to come."

"Some states and utilities are working to reduce carbon emissions with the understanding that nuclear power can be part of the solution. In the Southeast, there are four new reactors under construction that will provide 4,470 megawatts of carbon-free electricity — enough for 3.3 million homes. New York established a clean-energy standard in August that might help the state’s reactors stay open, including one that had been announced as closing. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office explained that “maintaining zero-emission nuclear power is a critical element to achieving New York’s ambitious climate goals.” And the private sector is pitching in, too: According to Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz, there are dozens of entrepreneurs focusing on ways to improve and expand the nuclear power industry."

...

"We should also invest more in research to develop advanced nuclear reactors, including small modular reactors and accident-tolerant fuels. Advanced reactor designs may substantially reduce the threat of a meltdown. Many new, modular designs are much smaller than their predecessors, meaning they can be built in factories at lower cost and plugged into the grid as needed."


The problem is, I don't think enough people, particularly the right people that can take the appropriate action, are listening to common sense like this.

Lighthouse of the Week, Dec. 25-31, 2016: Three Christmas Lighthouses


Since the first day of the lighthouse week begins on Christmas Day this year, I chose three lighthouses decorated in the spirit of the season to celebrate the holiday.


Montauk Lighthouse, New York




















Brant Point Lighthouse, Massachusetts
















Nubble Light (Cape Neddick), Maine




Hope you have a Merry Christmas


Iza Goulart and I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.  (No, we're not together, except in a very good dream.)



Great balance, by the way.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Lighthouse of the Week, December 18-24: Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse, New York


I jumped over to the other of the small Great Lakes, Lake Ontario, for this Lighthouse of the Week.  I actually found this one via a picture, and I didn't know that it was less than 50 miles (direct distance) from the Point Abino lighthouse that was my Lighthouse of the Week last week.   The Thirty Mile Point Lighthouse has more history, as does Thirty Mile Point, as learned from Lighthouse Friends.

Thirty Mile Point, New York

Here's the history part:

"Prior to the establishment of the lighthouse, at least four ships had sunk near Thirty Mile Point, including one belonging to the French explorer LaSalle in 1678. The most tragic loss appears to be the eighty-foot schooner H.M.S. Ontario. Built in 1780 during the Revolutionary War, the vessel was the largest British warship on the Great Lakes at the time. Just a few months after its launch, the Ontario departed Fort Niagara for Montreal, carrying eighty-eight passengers, including Lt. Colonel Bolton former commander of the fort, and an army payroll of $15,000 in gold and silver. The Ontario foundered off Thirty Mile Point in a Halloween blizzard. There were no survivors."
From the page about the light, it appears to have started operation in April 1876.  So it celebrated its centennial when the USA celebrated its Bicentennial.

It's made of limestone.

The lighthouse is now located within Golden Hill State Park,  Thirty Mile Lighthouse has been on U.S. Postage stamps featuring lighthouses of the Great Lakes.

And, according to Lighthouse Friends, the second story is available for rental; people can stay there for a week in the summer or shorter periods during the year, and find out what it was like to live like a lighthouse keeper.  (It's true, go here.)

Might be fun.

Below are three pictures;  from land, from the water, and in winter, so the last one is pretty much what it looks like now (i.e. in late December).




I was thinking similarly


I was generally thinking to myself that Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees had a pattern in common (though not true of all of them).  The pattern was that some of them seemed to have been in opposition to the goals and mission of the department that they are slated to head.

I guess I wasn't the only person thinking that.  Katrina vanden Heuvel of the Washington Post had a recent column in which she stated similar thoughts, more clearly than I could.   Because she did it so well, I've excerpted freely below.

Sham populism, shameless plutocracy


"With his sham populism giving way to shameless plutocracy, it appears increasingly likely that Trump will attempt to reverse more than the progress achieved over the past eight years under President Obama. The tremendous advances and reforms of the 20th century — from the New Deal to the Great Society — may be on the chopping block.

So far, Trump’s Cabinet picks offer perhaps the clearest evidence of how he intends to govern and how much is really at stake. In addition to surrounding himself with billionaires, bankers and crony capitalists, Trump has nominated several candidates to run federal agencies whose functions they fundamentally oppose on ideological grounds. As Jamelle Bouie writes of Trump’s Cabinet in Slate, “It’s less a team for governing the country than a mechanism for dismantling its key institutions.”

Take his choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is not just skeptical of “excessive” regulations; he is a climate change denier who’s been waging a legal war against the EPA. Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is not just a critic of the Affordable Care Act; he is openly opposed to what he calls “the federal government’s intrusion into medicine through Medicare.” Former Texas governor Rick Perry is not just underqualified to lead the Department of Energy; he famously wants to abolish it — when he can manage to remember the department’s name."
...

"This troubling pattern among Trump’s nominees points to a clear overarching goal: stripping the federal government of its power, in nearly every arena, to strengthen the hand of private enterprise. For all the discussion of how Trump isn’t a “normal” politician, this has long been the fundamental purpose of right-wing conservatism."

So we'll have to see how successful they are in ripping down what it has taken decades and administrations to build up.



How big is little Pandora?


The Cassini probe, currently conducting its final mission phase around Saturn, caught another picture of one of Saturn's little moons, this one named Pandora.  If you go to the press release, there's another link to an earlier picture of Pandora that Cassini captured.  Below the link is the newer picture.

Pandora Up Close






















I've heard of Pandora before, but never really considered its size.  Obviously it's not as big as Titan or Iapetus or Enceladus, or the smaller class that includes Rhea, Tethys, and Mimas.  According to Wikipedia, it's 104 x 81 x 64 km (and those numbers come from a paper about Saturn's moons).  So it has a volume of around 270,000 cubic km.

By comparison, Phobos, the larger moon of Mars, is 27 x 22 x 18 km.  Those dimensions translate to a volume of 5783 cubic km.

So Pandora is not quite 50x larger than Phobos, by volume.  And Pandora is one of the little moons of Saturn.   When it comes to gas giant planets, the scale is bigger.



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sorry, Rep. McMorris Rodgers; but Zinke isn't much better



I do feel sorry for Representative McMorris Rodgers for losing out on the post of Interior Secretary in the Trump Cabinet (otherwise known as the Ship of State Fools). She must have been pumped to have the chance to get more oil wells pumping on public lands and in the American wilderness. I don't feel sorry at all that she won't get that chance.

Instead of having someone with a score of 0 from the League of Conservation Voters (on a scale of 100), we're apparently going to get someone with a whopping score of 3. Ryan Keith Zinke, of Montana. A former Navy SEAL. Not someone noted for his concern about the natural resources of this great American country. I found this Fortune article for info, and I figured it was a good choice, considering that Fortune is about business and such.

Donald Trump Has Named a Pro-Coal Advocate to Watch Over America's National Parks

"As a single-term U.S. representative, Zinke took several stances favoring coal, a fossil fuel that suffered during the administration of President Barack Obama as development of natural gas and renewable energy soared."

"Many environmental groups oppose Zinke for his commitment to fossil fuels. Bradley Campbell, the president of the Conservation Law Foundation feared that Zinke would be tasked with unraveling Obama’s protections of the environment and federal lands."

But here's the thing...
"Zinke, a regular hunter and fisherman, impressed Trump’s son, Donald Jr., who shares those interests. Land Tawney, the president and CEO of the outdoors group Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, said Zinke would bring a conservationist voice to Trump’s leadership team.

Zinke is a proponent of keeping public lands under federal ownership, which puts him at odds with some in his party who would like to privatize the lands or put them under control of the states."
Well knock me over. That's actually a good thing! Hunters and fishermen, even if they are conservatives from conservative states, have been allies of environmental and conservation groups regarding America's public lands, because they want to keep the rivers and streams clean enough for fishing, and wild lands wild so that hunt-worthy wildlife can live there. So maybe Zinke isn't the worstest of the worst that Trumpy could pick -- not like Scott Pruitt, at least.

Here's the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Scorecard and Statement on Zinke.

Scorecard

Well, looking at that, it's hard to imagine much worse. He even voted against endangered species protections and improved smog standards, and in favor of reducing the President's power to declare regions as National Monuments. So let's see what the LCV said about the choice:

"His atrocious 3 percent score on LCV’s National Environmental Scorecard gives us little confidence that he will stand with the American people over polluters. Indeed, he is a climate denier who supports drilling in the Arctic and continuing outrageous subsidies for dirty energy development on public lands–positions that align with the oil and gas companies that have spent nearly $350,000 on his campaigns."

That doesn't sound good at all. Which doesn't surprise me at all. Zinke is, at his core, another ideologue likely to kowtow to the Donald and do what he says, which is bad news for the environment, the wilderness, national parks and monuments, and conservation in general. I guess he could surprise me.

I doubt he will.



Nobody surfed this monster


Found in the news reports that the largest wave ever recorded (in terms of height), as measured by a buoy, was observed in February 2013 in the North Atlantic Ocean, northwest of Scotland. Where's Bodhi when you need him?

Record-breaking wave thunders through the North Atlantic

What I really want to know is where this Big Wave crashed ashore. Probably some largely unpopulated shoreline in the Orkney or Shetland Islands. Or maybe the Outer Hebrides.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

These two articles go together


Article 1:

Earth is NOT prepared for a surprise asteroid strike: NASA warns 'there's not a lot we can do about it at the moment'

Pithy quote:
'We are not fully prepared, but we are on a trajectory to get much more so,' Mr. Holdren [director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy] said.
Events like the Chelyabinsk strike and the Tunguska explosion are extremely rare, he said, with the first thought to occur once every hundred years and the latter every 1,000.

But, 'if we are going to be as capable a civilization as our technology allows, we need to be prepared for even those rare events, because they could to a lot of damage to the Earth.'

Despite how unusual these events may be, these strikes could have devastating effects on the planet, and Earth must be prepared.

The expert warned: 'Ultimately, we may need to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with the Earth.

Article 2:

The dramatic moment that a giant flaming METEORITE lights up the sky and then hammers into the earth so hard that terrified witnesses in the Costa del Sol felt ‘the ground move’

Pithy quote:
"The moment a meteor crashed to earth at almost 45,000 mph was witnessed by stunned tourists.

The fireball smashed down in southern Spain at about 10.25pm on Sunday [ December 11 ] and the huge streak of light in the sky was described by tourists and residents in the Costa Del Sol as similar to an 'earthquake'.

Witnesses described feeling 'the earth moving' and compared the impact to a small earthquake or explosion."
So... the next one, or the one after that, or the one after that... could be bigger.

And we aren't ready.


Great view of Jupiter


It has been previously noted that taking pictures of Jupiter is not the main objective of the Juno mission.  But it does have a camera, so we don't forget what it's observing.

And the camera acquired a really great picture of Jupiter just a short time ago.

Here's the NASA article:   Juno Captures Jupiter 'Pearl'  [ White Oval Storm ]

And here's the picture (go to the article if you want to see it biggest, which is recommended for the spectacular detail).




Lighthouse of the Week, December 11-17, 2016: Point Abino, Ontario, Canada


Because there's going to be a lot of lake-effect snow right about the time I'm writing this and tomorrow, I thought of the Great Lakes, and a quick investigation of past Lighthouses OTW indicated that I had only one previous one from the great province of Ontario, Canada.   So I did what I usually do, searched, and came up with a very classic example of a lighthouse, the Point Abino light, which is located quite near Niagara Falls, as the map shows.














Now, Point Abino has an interesting history.  Rather than copy it all here, read the whole thing on the Lighthouse Directory Southwestern Ontario page.

One of the results of the interesting history was the Point Abino Lighthouse Preservation Society.  It has pictures of the lighthouse, pictures of the restoration, information about tours, everything you might want to know.

Now for a short summary of info about the lighthouse.  It was built in 1917 and operated from 1918 to 1995.  Then it was deactivated, and the sage of getting it renovated began.  The Greek Revival tower is 98 feet high.

I went a little overboard (nautical term there) with pictures, so enjoy them.  I've got a couple of winter ones, since it's winter right now.  A couple of them are attributed to the photographer.

Under construction 






by Dale Roddick



Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A big boomer stirs


We may talk about civilization-ending catastrophes, like an asteroid impact, or nuclear war, or Donald Trump as POTUS, but there's one thing that has happened before, and we know it can happen again, and which if it did happen would put a serious hurt on human society.

That's a supervolcanic eruption.  Now, we've had biggies, the biggest in recorded history being Tambora, and Krakatoa was impressive, Katmai was big, the Laki fissure eruption caused problems, and El Chichon and Pinatubo were big enough to be geologically noticeable.  Further back, we've got Toba and Mazama (Crater Lake) and Huaynaputina and Kuwae and Vesuvius and Thera (Santorini). There have been large eruptions, clearly.

But never a real supervolcano.

That might change.

Unusual Chile volcano activity sparks interest, worries

"We have so little experience with this kind of data, but the uplift is the biggest seen anywhere on the planet," said Bradley Singer, a geoscientist from the U.S. University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is leading an international research effort to understand what is happening under the surface.
I think continued monitoring is in order here.



Monday, December 12, 2016

Queen Demi


More about this later.  What I have below will suffice for now.


Emmanuelle has a new show


I'm going to have to try and track this new show down  (it isn't hard to find).  Emmanuelle Chriqui, one of my favorite actresses of all time, has a new show.   She's just plain one of my all-timers.

Emmanuelle Chriqui takes the plunge in holiday red as she steps out for AOL Build

"The actress attended the AOL show to promote her new crime drama, Shut Eye*. The show tells of a scammer who is in the business of fortune-telling."
* The Daily Mail called it Shut Eyes, but it's actually Shut Eye.

Shut Eye (IMdB)

Shut Eye on Hulu


It is getting worser and worser


Hard to believe, but Donald Trump's selection to head the Department of the Interior is worse than his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

Her name is Cathy Anne McMorris Rodgers.  And she is NO friend of the environment, conservation, our national parks, monuments, seashores, lakeshores, and historical sites.

Great pick.  Can you hear the sarcasm?

Trump expected to pick oil drilling advocate to head Interior

Part of the problem is excerpted below.  But not all of it.

"On her website, she also touts her support of the recent repeal of the decades old ban on oil exports, and for a bill to reject the EPA’s Waters of the United States Act as some of her key achievements on energy and environment.

She has also expressed skepticism about climate change, consistently opposing Obama’s measures to combat it, and once arguing that former Vice President Al Gore, a longtime advocate for steps to combat global warming, deserves an “F” in science and an “A” in creative writing.

The League of Conservation Voters, which publishes a score card ranking the environmental record of each member of Congress, gave McMorris Rodgers a zero in its most recent ratings."

Like I said - great pick.  If you want to pave paradise and put up a parking lot, that is.  She apparently does.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Telling it like it really is


Let's lay out the steps.

The Daily Mail publishes a misleading piece about how La NiƱa will cool off the Earth, thus disproving global warming and discounting all the temperature records set over the past two years.

Breitbart News picks up the piece and republishes it in a piece written by idiotic twit James Delingpole, and a link to his Breitbart article about it gets tweeted by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology - headed by arch climate science critic Lamar Smith.

But the piece in Breitbart included a clip from the Weather Channel, and this clip had the Weather Channel logo, thus potentially implying that the Weather Channel stood behind the story.  (And note here that misbegotten climate change skeptic John Coleman founded the Weather Channel.  And he can't answer simple questions about the climate system.)

Well, the Weather Channel wanted to make sure that everybody knew that the Breitbart News piece written by Delingpole, with their clip in it -- was utter claptrap.  (I thought about using a short word starting with "c" and ending in "ap", but decided to be circumspect.)

Here's what they said:

Note to Breitbart: Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans

And that includes this:

"The Breitbart article – a prime example of cherry picking, or pulling a single item out of context to build a misleading case – includes this statement: "The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare."

In fact, thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet’s climate and will keep doing so."

Alert President Trump. And John Coleman, while you're at it.

Climate change and fake news go together


Donald Trump believes what he's told.  The problem is, a lot of what he's told isn't true.

When he acts on things he thinks are correct but aren't true, that's inconvenient if it's just him.  It's bad if he uses his misguided knowledge to make decisions as the President of the United States.

More terrifying than Trump:  the booming conspiracy culture of climate science denial
"The problem is not that these [fake news, conspiracy theory, and climate change denial] sites exist but that not enough people seem to know the difference between actual news, fake news, partisan opinion and conspiratorial bullshit. One of those people is the president-elect of the United States.

Either that, or people don’t even care to differentiate between fake and real, especially if what they read taps into their own prejudices."
I've seen a lot of that in action.  If you don't question the news you hear, and you only get it from sources with particular points of view, your thinking becomes very, very biased -- and your mind becomes very, very hard to change, even if real facts and hard evidence are all in opposition to what you think is correct.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Will the media let Trump keep lying?


Jennifer Rubin, who is a conservative right-wing columnist at the Washington Post, and who really, really doesn't think Donald Trump should have been elected President, has some advice for the media:

Don't let Trump or his seconds lie to you.  And don't let Trump's seconds defend the lies that he tells.

She provides a transcript of George Stephanopoulos trying to get Mike Pence to discuss the topic of Trump lying about the "millions" of fraudulent votes in the last election, but Pence stuck to the script of denying that the Trumpster lied about that.

Interviewers cannot let Trump's lies fly by

A quote: "Trump’s assault on the truth goes a long way toward explaining his unhinged attacks on the media. He and his advisers scream bloody murder when the press reports his own words. That’s not “dishonest” or “liberal bias” as he says — it’s reporting on the objective reality (what came out of his own mouth), something that threatens Trump’s stranglehold on the national conversation. His bizarre notion that we should not take him “literally” (i.e., expect him to believe what he says) sums up the Orwellian world in which he operates."

One game at a time


Crystal Palace may not have been exactly dominant and convincing, but they did win against Southampton.  It helped that the Southampton goalkeeper took a mighty swing at the ball in front of his own net to send it deep into the Crystal Palace zone, and instead kicked it about three feet right to Christian Benteke, who took the gift and put it where it belonged.

So they live to play another week, and Alan Pardew is still the coach.

Tune in again this weekend to watch another tightrope walk against Hull City, a game that they should be favored to win, but nothing is ever easy.


Crystal Palace 3-0 Southampton: A birthday brace for Christian Benteke seals vital three points and hands under-fire manager Alan Pardew a lifeline

Lighthouse of the Week, December 4-10, 2016: Race Rocks, British Columbia, Canada


I've had a couple of British Columbia lighthouses as Lighthouse of the Week before, but I went back there again.  This time I chose the Race Rocks lighthouse, which is one of the oldest lighthouses in Canada, and is made out of granite.  Solid rock.  Built to last.

It's located south of Vancouver Island, close enough to Washington State and the USA that the Olympic Mountains make a dramatic backdrop in some photographs (as you'll see below).

It even has it's own Web site with live Webcam views (I think that's a first for my LOTW), and occasionally has elephant seals on the front lawn.

It is also now currently located in a Marine Protected Area.

More from Wikipedia here

Race Rocks Lighthouse Web site (with the Webcams)

History of Race Rocks Lighthouse

It's an old-timer, too: "The lighthouse was built between 1859–1860 by the crew of HMS Topaze and outside labourers under a contract awarded to John Morris by the British Government."

And the pictures:







Friday, December 2, 2016

Hope nothing happens before then




The U.S. military, specifically the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has just finished building and testing a new telescope designed to track space junk and small asteroids, for two primary reasons:

1.  To anticipate and hopefully prevent collisions of junk with things that are valuable;

and

2.  To keep track of things big enough to hit Earth with dangerous consequences.

The problem is, now that it's been built and tested, it has to get shipped to Australia and rebuilt, and maybe it'll be ready to start looking for space rocks and space junk in 2020.  That is, provided Donald Trump doesn't think space junk and killer asteroids are a Chinese hoax and cuts off the funding.

I don't see that happening, but you never know with The Donald.

DARPA's SST spans the sky for asteroids



My first sonnet for December


I haven't posted any sonnets for awhile, but I have a backlog.   So this when will start off the month.



rite impassioned

So simple and so commonplace, this act,
which happens ev'ry day uncounted times
so that it seems we'd be far too exact
to think that one of them deserves the rhymes
of a poetic utterance -- yet still,
participants may think their act was such,
so wonderous and thunderous they will
believe themselves as blessed, though in the much
more unemotional considera-
tion of statistics we all know they can-
not be so specially unique, yet they
will always think they were. The span
of globalness defines the grace for all,
where ev'ry pair creates their naked thrall.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cutting taxes, spending more = doesn't add up


A budget watch group wants to know how POTUS-elect Donald Trump is going to pay for massive increases in spending (military, infrastructure) while at the same time instituting ginormous tax cuts.

Answer:  didn't work for Reagan, didn't work for George W. Bush, won't work for Trump.  No matter what pie-in-the-sky supply siders say.

Budget group tells Trump:  pay for your plans

"The president-elect has contradicted himself in comments on the deficit on the campaign trail.

In some speeches, he condemned federal spending, promising to eliminate national debt within eight years.

But he also outlined a dizzying array of new programs and tax cuts, sometimes in the same campaign speech. He’s called for a huge increase in defense spending and vowed to spend more on infrastructure than even his campaign rival Hillary Clinton had committed to do."

So, to put it simply, Donald showed us how to win elections. Tell the people what they want to hear, even if it's a lie and the numbers don't add up. And Donald lied all the time.



Iza's abs


I'll probably write a couple more postings about the most recent Victoria's Secret show (which I haven't even seen yet, of course).  But I had to note this picture of Iza Goulart.  I've commented on Iza's fitness before (here and here and also here), but this particular one captured her outrageous level of abdominal development.'

She's a very beautiful woman, of course -- these abs are just a highlight.




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Behati Prinsloo gave birth WHERE?


One of the things that the Daily Mail likes to do is cover celebrity pregnancies, which they do well. And one of the other things that they like to do is cover the "recovery" of the figures of beautiful actresses and supermodels who manage to get back to their pre-pregnancy levels of gorgeous litheness pretty amazingly quickly after popping out their tyke.

But in the case of Behati Prinsloo, married to Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, they may have set a new record.  (I grabbed this headline verbatim before they had a chance to change it.)












OK, so Behati gave birth at the AMAs and then showed off her post-baby body in a plunging little black dress at the same event.

That's impressive.

Aren't misplaced modifiers fun?

Here's what she looked like, by the way,



What will happen to nuclear power under Trump?


Worrisome as it may be that Donald Trump will be able to launch nuclear weapon strikes when he's President, as a nuclear power advocate, I've been wondering what he'll mean for the nuclear power industry.   Focusing solely on that issue, I think he'll keep it going.  Trump may think that he can reinvigorate the coal industry, but a lot of energy analysts think there are too many downsides to that, cost being just one of them.  Natural gas, despite shaking up Oklahoma, is less expensive and less carbon-intensive -- and we're exporting it, too.  And that's also what's holding back more nuclear power.

But nuclear power is clean and reliable, and until we have a great leap forward in battery technology (which is really all the USA and the world need), nuclear will still be important.   I recommend the article below, which lays out a pretty good scenario.


Hopes for Nuclear Power, However Unlikely, Blossom With Trump’s Rise


"The environmental impacts of all this could be drastic, and clean energy advocates in particular fear that wind and solar power generation may suffer under an administration backed by — and even made up of — fossil fuel lobbyists. Meanwhile, a variety of experts over the years, including former and current Energy secretaries Stephen Chu and Ernest Moniz, have echoed Hoffman’s enthusiasm for nuclear power — or at least its potential role in reducing runaway carbon dioxide emissions."

The microworld, revealed


As I've noted a few posts ago, I'm a fan of photography contests.  One that I look forward to every year is the winners of the Nikon microphotography contest, which is properly called the Nikon International Small World Contest.

So, before reading  the article at the link, guess what this is:



Read the article to find out (it's mostly pictures, anyway):

From a butterfly's wing to coffee crystals, Nikon reveals the mesmerizing winners of its microscopic image contest

Lighthouse of the Week, November 27 - December 3, 2016: Trowbridge Island, Canada



It's fairly easy to find lighthouses in the United States on the great lake of Lake Superior. There are lesser-known and harder-to-find lighthouses on the Canadian side. A good example of why they are harder to find is found with the Trowbridge Lighthouse, at the southern end of the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.

The Trowbridge light sticks out above the trees, and has a dramatic stone wall backdrop (that's the Sleeping Giant), so it does lend itself well to pictures, even though it's hard to see the entire lighthouse building, which is only 39 feet tall.

Specs as of 1923, from Lighthouse Friends: "A thirty-nine-foot-tall octagonal tower, built of reinforced concrete and topped by a red lantern room, was placed on the summit of the island. Inside the lantern room, a third-order, Chance Brothers Fresnel lens slowly revolved around an oil-vapour lamp, producing a white flash every five seconds at a height of 114 above the lake. When needed, the fog alarm would boom out a group of two blasts each minute in this manner: two-and- a-half-second blast, ten seconds of silence, two-and-a-half-second blast, forty-five seconds of silence. The characteristic of the fog alarm was changed in 1928 to sound two three- and-a-quarter-second blasts each minute."

From the Lighthouse Directory: "Active; focal plane 35 m (114 ft); white flash every 5 s. 7 m (23 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted white with red trim; lantern and gallery painted red. 3rd order Fresnel lens."

So apparently it still has a working Fresnel lens. Cool.

Web site with a map

Pictures, including the Sleeping Giant itself (in the top one, the rock walls of the Sleeping Giant can be glimpsed at far left).




















This is the Sleeping Giant

How to lose a game... and a job



Following the Crystal Palace - Swansea City game last Saturday was akin to riding the proverbial sports roller coaster. First Palace took the lead; then Swansea took what is usually a pretty comfortable lead in a soccer game, 3-1; then Palace battled back to make the score an improbable 4-3 with only six minutes (plus stoppage time) to go; and most improbably of all, Swansea City scored two goals in rapid succession to win the game 5-4. Good for American coach Bob Bradley, who won his first Premier League game, and the first ever by an American coach; really, really bad for James Pardew, who now finds his coaching job on the line.

The main reason for all the scoring was that neither Swansea City or Crystal Palace did a very good job of defending free kicks and corner kicks. One wonders how much of that is skill and how much of that is fortune, but likely the better teams don't allow as many goals on "set pieces" as poorer teams. Of course, the poorer teams don't have the highly-skilled and athletic players that are seen on better teams frequently scoring on set pieces.

Well, the articles indicate Pardew's job is on the line, and it should certainly be. Unfortunately, though, losing Wilfried Zaha for five weeks to the Cup of Africa in January won't help either. And even worse is the loss of forward Connor Wickham to a season-ending knee injury. So the team is going to have to figure out how to be more stingy on defense and find somebody that can score occasionally, or their three-year run in the Premier League will end this May.  And Pardew's run will have ended long before that.



A loss of character



Sad to read about the death of actor Ron Glass, who was probably best remembered for his role on Barney Miller, but who gave depth and insight to the part of Shepherd Book in the sadly short-lived science fiction TV series Firefly (and the wrap-it-the-series movie Serenity).

Veteran character actor Ron Glass of Barney Miller and Firefly fame dead at 71

He definitely had "range".


Buy me this


Looking for a Christmas gift to give me?  After all the years of dedicated blogging I've done?


























The pictures are from Yandy.com.   And actually, the lingerie is not what I'm looking for.  If this lovely model had a price (truly I think she's priceless), then that's what I'd like under my Christmas tree.

She has a name:  Julianne Kissinger, (goes by juli.annee on Instagram).  She very recently gifted herself with a breast augmentation. Improving on perfection isn't easy, but I'll give her credit for the effort.




The best way to read


Lovely-beyond-words Joanna Krupa demonstrates the best way to read a book in Chicago.

By the window.  (That's the landmark Water Tower at left.)

In the nude.



 (Sure would be nice to be a drone on occasion.)

The Daily Mail had all the angles on this covered.

No clothes, no problem! Joanna Krupa goes completely NUDE as she does the mannequin challenge


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dawn is still out there


I hadn't heard much about the Dawn asteroid mission for a few months.  Apparently it hasn't been napping, it's been mapping -- the asteroid Ceres.  Now it's destined for a higher orbit.  

Two new pictures were released;  one of Occator Crater, the one with the largest bright white spots that were still a mystery as Dawn approached -- now identified as a magnesium salt.  The other is an attempt to provide a color image much as the human eye would see it, but likely a bit brighter, considering how far away the Sun is.

If you want lot and lots and lots of Ceres pictures from throughout the Dawn orbital phase, go here.

Here's the two new ones.




























Just plain not good


I've stuck by Crystal Palace for each season that they've been in the Premier League.  I was happy the first season when they didn't get re-relegated, the second season when they made it up to 10th in the table, and last year when they staggered to the end of the season and avoided relegation by a couple of points.

This year, just scoring a couple of points has been real difficult.  So difficult, in fact, that they are the worst-scoring team in the top four divisions of English soccer.

That is just plain not good.

Here's hoping they can turn it around.  But they need to figure out something soon. As they stand now they are 1 point above the relegation line.  They play the lowest team in the table, Swansea City, this Saturday.  If they don't win that one, hoo boy, we got trouble.


Crystal Palace are the worst team in England's top four divisions this year... Alan Pardew's struggling side have a measly 0.71 points-per-match ratio


Sunday, November 20, 2016

New Zealand's earthquake lifts the seafloor above the waves


The earthquake that hit New Zealand on November 14th, also called the Kaikoura earthquake, really did a number on the island country.  Because it's on the Ring of Fire and obviously possesses a lot of volcanic and tectonic features, it's not surprising that earthquakes happen here; maybe it's surprising that there aren't more.

Along with the 'regular' types of earthquake damage to buildings and infrastructure, landslides caused a lot of problems and cut off several communities for awhile, including the community of Kaikoura that the earthquake was named for.  The epicenter was actually closer to Culverden, but one of the big aftershocks, was very close to Kaikoura.

The uniquest thing about this earthquake was the effects on the local coastal seafloor, which was raised up by around two meters in some places, exposing what normally lies under the ocean waters, and confusing at least one spiny lobster quite a bit.

I should be underwater

Where the seafloor was exposed



Lighthouse of the Week, November 20-26, 2016: Lange Jaap, The Netherlands


As I promised, this week I'm returning to the "traditional" lighthouse design, rather than the avant garde and unusual (and even erotic) lighthouses found in South Korea.

This one is called Lange Jaap, which translates to "Long James".  I think I prefer the former, because the latter sounds kinda like a male porn star.  Lange Jaap has several superlatives associated with it, according to Wikipedia.

Here's what it says:

-- For almost a century, from 1878 to 1974, it was the tallest lighthouse in the Netherlands
-- tallest non-skeletal cast iron lighthouse in the world (probably)
-- it is a Rijksmonument, meaning it is a national heritage site for the Netherlands.

Listed as 63.5 meters (208 feet) high, thought it might only be 55.5 meters (182 feet) high.  Somebody needs to measure this one to make sure, definitively.

It has a first-order Fresnel lens and 284 steps to the top,

The pictures:







Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Two, no, three more Lighthouses of the Week (Nov. 13-19) from South Korea



After last week's symbolic lighthouse (highly symbolic), I thought I'd move on from South Korea, but I decided to do two more. On one page, it's called "Wando and Jindo, Wando Hang".

























A different page, identifies it as the Wando Hang lighthouse.



















From the Lighthouse Directory: "Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower wrapped in square panels creating a heliacal effect. Entire lighthouse is red. ... In the evenings, the lighthouse is illuminated and plays music while the panels rotate around the tower. These unusual enhancements were apparently added in 2009". Before that, it was a simple red tower.




The second lighthouse I chose this week is the equine Iho Hang East Breakwater lighthouse. It's pretty obvious what this one is supposed to be.

From the Lighthouse Directory: "2009(?). Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); three green flashes every 7 s. 12 m (39 ft) concrete tower, built in the shape of a horse with the lantern perched on its head."

















The Iho Hang West Breakwater lighthouse is a red horse. You can see both of them in this picture.
















I think I'll go back to the more traditional lighthouse next week. Thank you, South Korea.